Friday, May 26, 2017

Truth in the 21st Century

There has been much made of 'fake news' recently and it is certainly true that we live in an era where there is a Newspeak-like inversion - truth is lies and lies are truth. However, the claims about what is fake news are themselves inverted with the accusations coming mostly from those who are greatest purveyors of fake news - the left-leaning mainstream media.

The fake news phenomenon is just the latest iteration of a culture war that has its origins in Italian Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci's ideas about cultural hegemony. Gramsci believed there was no reality outside of human experience and he believed that only way to establish a Marxist world order was to undermine the existing cultural institutions and to impose a new reality that was conducive to Marxian thought. He cited the Catholic Church as an example of an institution that had so dominated European society that it had defined the way people perceived reality.

This is what George Orwell imagined so well in his novel 1984. The government in that story developed propaganda into such a science that it could change recorded history and nobody could imagine a world where the propaganda wasn't true. The aim was to make people incapable of questioning the apparent reality, such as 'we have always been at war with Eurasia', because every trace of evidence that it wasn't true has been erased. The fake news becomes reality.

We have seen this is in real life with the 97% scientific consensus on climate change. Hardly anyone knows where that claim came from (it was a study by Cook et al, which was been thoroughly debunked) and yet it has gained such currency that it doesn't matter that no one can cite the source and no one questions it. This is classic Gramsci - it is irrelevant that the claim is false because there is no objectively true or false state, and in any event established science is simply part of the cultural hegemony of capitalism. Impose a new cultural hegemony and, hey presto, whatever you want to claim can become true!

Of course there is an objective reality - one plus one does equal two, the Earth does orbit the Sun, and Donald Trump is the duly-elected president of the United States. No one has yet proved the Catholic Church's doctrine of the transubstantiation to be true, so that is not objective reality, however much the faithful might believe it to be so. Neither is much of what passes for news in the mainstream media, such as a rape crisis in US universities, an increase in racial violence under Trump, or that recent terrorist attacks have nothing to do with Islam.

The fact that Gramsci's philosophy is nonsense does not diminish how dangerous it is. It underpins so much of the left-wing's influence on accepted thought in modern Western societies and if it is not understood, it cannot be effectively opposed. The good news is that voters around the world seem to be pretty good at distilling reality from the fake news and making electoral choices in their own interests.

1 comment:

paul scott said...

The fake truth cards, are beginning to fall.
You can hold up the card which says [Science is 97% consensus, Australian ] and later people will find out that that is nonsense. The East Europeans are ready to back out of the Paris accord, and obdurate States and Mayors in USA will keep ramping taxes up till every body leaves Hollywood.
The earliest fossils of man look as though they are from Greece, and of course there is a clear genetic link to intelligence and other attributes and it varies between races.
White Europeans are quite smart, and so too the Japanese. Where I live in Thailand they are not too bright at all, so I get away with all sorts of things.
Now, about three quarters of the USA know that John Kennedy was shot in a coup of the State, or at least not by Oswald.
Many more of us have found out the moon was in Arizona for NASA purposes in 1970 and after or whenever, filmed by Kubrick. Kubrick was sorry he got the lighting all wrong. It might not have been Kubrick doing the filming, but it was not at the moon. The whole idea is not possible een today.and the Clintons organise contracts on dozens of people who get in the way.

But you don't have to worry about all this Kiwi wit, I will deal with it.
You just get ready for our own coup, expect the appointment as PM shortly after September. It will be nice to wake Winston up with the truth, I am King and I make the rules.
The 97% can vote as they please. I've made up my mind.

I posted this stuff below on the Islam post, with the dates all wrong, butit doesn't matter its 5 oclock in the morning in NZ so nobody will notice.